Tag Archive | "Drew Stubbs"

buy_sell_hold

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Fantasy Baseball Stock Watch – Sold In Hindsight

Posted on 11 September 2012 by Patrick Hayes

After taking a look last week on the undecided’s, this evening I’ll hopefully be finding out that I sold at the perfect time on six players over the course of two months. These three hitters and three pitchers are all players that I did not have the luxury of having on any of my teams this year, probably helped aid my decision making in cutting ties. Same format as last week (for the most part), here are the players and when I said sayonora.

So it may seem as though I didn’t take too many big risks in determining who I selected, and although that could be a fair-ish argument, these players all have had solid years (for the most part). They were probably bargains when you drafted them, so that played into my criteria on maximizing payout for your investment.

Time to rank them in order of how the selection played out. Just like golf, the lower the number the better and whoever ends up number six, well, you probably missed your window of opportunity by a few weeks. Here we go!

  1. Drew Stubbs – When I visited him on August 6 he was riding a very nice hot streak. Talking to the likes of .362/.415/.660 in the 14 days prior with 4 homers and 5 stolen bases. Since that deciding day I have looked like I know what I’m doing. In the past 30 days from now, Drew is batting .169 in 89 at-bats with 0 homeruns, 2 stolen bases and only five walks. This pick makes me feel good inside.
  2. Starlin Castro – I wrote about Starlin just a few days after he signed a mega contract extension and I predicted gloom for the rest of the year (his slash was .280/.311/.428). Since then, he has been proving me wrong, but only slightly. Castro has started seeing the ball a lot better and has had his average bounce back up to where he normally hits. He hasn’t provided much fantasy stats, other than average, even with hitting .350 for the month of September thus far.
  3. R. A. Dickey – The knuckleballer who stole the attention of the first half of the season. When I decided to push sell, Dickey was in a stretch where he allowed 20 earned runs in his last five appearances. In his last 30 days R.A. has thrown just under 36 innings while allowing 9 earned runs and accumulating 29 strikeouts. Good enough for a 2.27 ERA and 1.12 WHIP. Needless to say, he has been back on track for the most part. Check swinging strike for my decision here.
  4. Ian Desmond – This shortstop, who is having a career year, was in the midst of getting injured and missed some games after I sold on July 16th. Ian was riding a hot streak where he smacked four homers, knocked in nine and had five swipes in his last 15 games. In his last 30 games he is batting .329 with four more homers, 11 RBI and two swipes. Yup, I clearly missed here. And he was a free agent in my league but I passed. I regret both decisions.
  5. Gio Gonzalez – Before I sold on the 27th of August his K/9 was returning to his career average, almost as an indication that the NL has caught on to him. Well, that doesn’t appear to be the case. In his three starts since he has thrown 22 innings, allowed one run and struck out 23. All three of his starts have resulted in wins. He has been clutch down the stretch for the NL East leading Washington Nationals. I whiffed here.
  6. Ryan Dempster – Selling on August 13, just a few starts into his AL stint, I felt real good about this call. His ERA was a low 2.65 but his SIERRA had him at 1.18 higher. Playing in the heat of Texas, I thought this was a no brainer. Well, since then, Ryan has thrown 26 innings in four starts (all leading to wins), struck out 28 and has allowed five earned runs. Dempster is my worst case scenario because of how confident I was, especially after the way he get all pissy when news of being traded to the Braves leaked early. Ugh.

So there you have it. I was actually pretty awful in figuring out who to sell. I hope you didn’t take my advice for all of them, but if you did, hopefully you got some good value in return!

Reactions and opinions are always welcomed. Find me on twitter: @pf_hayes

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Drew Stubbs, Reds OF, Sell his stock

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Fantasy Baseball Stock Watch: Buy Jose Reyes Now

Posted on 06 August 2012 by Patrick Hayes

After a week off due to vacationing in the great state of Meeeeechigan, Fantasy Baseball Stock Watch returns to wheel and deal on a few interesting major leaguers. I do realize that the trade deadline in your fantasy league may have passed already but for those that haven’t, I suggest you take my following predictions and reactions to the bank, but not the one in Greece. Yeah, yeah, enough rambling, here we go:

Jose Reyes – SS, Miami Marlins

Jose  Reyes, Marlins SS, Buy his Stock

#1 on ESPNs 5×5 Player Rater for SSs

Jose Reyes is one of the last few remaining “names” on a dissipated Miami team that was ravished before the non-waiver trade deadline. He also happens to be completely on fire of late, to the tune of a .434/.474/.755 slash line in his last 14 games. Outstanding right? Right. He also has swiped six bags in this time frame and has touched home thirteen times in this span. The only lack of production has been his six RBI’s, with a majority of these ABs coming from the three-hole. I’m not too concerned about that from a fantasy perspective though, as with any shortstop position (outside of the injured Troy Tulowitzki), you aren’t expecting jaw-dropping power numbers anyway.

Manager Ozzie Guillen has gone on record saying that with the pending return of Giancarlo Stanton expected in the next week, Reyes will continue to bat third, which is good news for current owners. Adding to the optimistic outlook is the season BABIP of .304 that Reyes has currently, which is down a tick from his career average of .313. The only downside is that the rest of the lineup is one that draws blank stares and has nothing to play for, but nonetheless, Jose is finally playing the way he has in the past and what we have came to expect.

My verdict: Buy Now Candidate

Drew Stubbs – OF, Cincinnati Reds

Drew  Stubbs, Reds OF, Sell his stock

#27 on ESPNs 5×5 Player Rater for OFs

Drew Stubbs, synonymous with being part of a group of players who has all the potential in the world, gets drafted high each year, and still continues to disappoint and break hearts. When looking at the season in a whole, that previous sentence is dead on. However, Stubbs has been on point of late. Blasting 4 HRs in the past 14 days along with 5 SBs, these are the type of power and speed stats that makes scouts and fantasy owners go gaga. The accommodating slash of .362/.415/.660 is mighty appetizing as well, which makes now the perfect time to maximize take your gains and head home.

Have you looked at his season stats? .238/.307/.399 wreaks of a havoc. If you have kept him lingering around to experience this explosion of unsustainable hope, then you might have more patience than me. Striking out at a rate of over 27% is disgusting, as well as his walk rate of 8.7%. I’ll give you credit that his BABIP is well below his career average (.300 in 2012 to .328), but I just can’t fathom putting him in the lineup for the long haul. Sure, he may get a few SBs and pop a HR out here or there, but he will also frustrate you even more so once he and the Reds start to cool down. Do the smart thing here.

My verdict: Sell High Candidate

Chase Utley – 2B, Philadelphia Phillies

Chase  Utley, Phillies 2B, Hold his Stock

#9 on ESPNs 5×5 Player Rater for 2Bs in the last 30 days

Oh, where to begin. Chase Utley has been an injury riddled shadow of what he once was. After starting the year on the DL for those terrible knees, he got off to a slow start but has been steadily getting his swagger back. Three homeruns, six RBI, two stolen bases and a line of .297/.458/.622 in the last 14 days. He knows how to draw a walk too, his eye has remained sharp as ever and is at a rate of 12.5% this year (in line with 2009 and 2010).

While the second base position might not be as scarce as it used to be in his heyday, Utley is proving to be valuable in your fantasy lineup of late. It’s almost impossible to expect a sudden reemergence of his capabilities from his peak years, but it’s equally impossible not to root for him to regain those marks. I love looking at BABIP’s and so far this year, Chase’s is well below his career average, .253 in 2012 vs .308, which provides that glimmer of hope that maybe it’s possible. But seriously now, he had a cameo in It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, you should hold onto his bandwagon for the rest of the year just because of that.

My verdict: Hold while nostalgically grasping your shersey from the depths of closet in remembrance of yesteryear. 

Reactions and opinions are always welcomed. Find me on twitter: @pf_hayes

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Bourn on the Fourth of July

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Bourn on the Fourth of July

Posted on 06 July 2012 by Dennis Lawson

The final vote frenzy to select the 34th man for each All-Star team was rife with sketchy alliances, bad slogans, and no small amount of angst.  Lost amongst the barrage of hashtags, team emails, and unofficial campaign managers was perhaps the biggest All-Star snub in recent history.  Michael Bourn quietly went about the business of playing baseball, and that is a darn shame.  The relatively amount of fanfare dedicated to Bourn was actually a little underwhelming.  Maybe the talking heads spewing forth their opinions about how unreliable defensive metrics appear to be had an impact on Bourn.  Maybe not.  Regardless, the point that one of the premier leadoff hitters and defensive outfielders in the game failed to make the All-Star team in any form deserves some scrutiny.

Just his slash line of .307/.360/.452/.812 merits him some consideration, but the 57 runs scored, 106 hits, 7 HR, 32 RBI, and 23 stolen bases should garner enough support to get him to KC in a National League All-Star jersey by itself.  If not, then the NL leading 24.0 UZR/150 should put him over the top.  Since this game counts, shouldn’t at least someone be interested in putting one of the most complete players in the league on the team?  Jay Bruce?  Really.  He doesn’t even make the top 25 in the NL among outfielders with his -7.1 UZR/150.  For perspective, that puts him behind the likes of Matt Holliday, Jason Kubel, and Drew Stubbs.

At anything close to his current pace, Bourn has a career year already in his sights.  The fact that his accomplishments will likely not be punctuated with an All-Star selection boggles the mind just a bit.  Let me tell you just how many NL players have produced more WAR this season than Bourn.

4

That’s David Wright, Joey Votto, Carlos Ruiz, and Andrew McCutchen.  34 players on the team, and they could not find room for Michael Bourn.  Did the support Chipper Jones received hurt Bourn’s chances?  Probably.  You can only spend so much time firing off one text vote after another before the battery in your phone demands attention.  Still, it seems like a complete breakdown of the whole system, and Bourn slipped through every crack possible.  The fans and the impressive moral ineptitude of the Giants as an organization screwed the pooch on the vote.  The electorate comprised of baseball’s players and coaches fumbled the ball away into the stands, and Tony La Russa just grabbed names out of a hat that apparently didn’t include the names Cueto, Phillips, or Bourn.  While I completely understand the first 2 missing out, I don’t get the omission of Michael Bourn.

La Russa had to know that Bourn had an ice cube’s chance on a Kansas City sidewalk of getting voted in at the last minute.  He had to know that the sympathy vote would put Chipper ahead of Bourn, and he had to know that Cardinal Nation would endure repetitive stress injuries to get Freese a metric ton of votes.  Can we get a “Commissioner’s Selection” in the 11th hour or something?  Rock, paper, scissors best 2 of 3 to replace Sandoval with someone who has played in more than 50 games.?  Among the land of the ridiculous, Bud Selig reigns supreme.  No greater indictment of his ego-addled brain exists than the current All-Star game selection system, unless you want to consider that an exhibition game counts for something.

Then again, it’s not a break.  It’s work.  Or so Hunter Pence would tell us.

Please, just someone tell me that the next time Bourn deserves a shot that the Braves will come out swinging with a “Bourn on the Fourth of July” slogan.  If not, then the #Barves hashtag should trend on Twitter from here to eternity.

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Stealing One

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Stealing One

Posted on 03 April 2012 by Dennis Lawson

Michael Bourn Creating Havoc (courtesy of Sports Grid)

For many fantasy league owners, the stolen base category represents somewhat of an afterthought.  Maybe you draft 1 speedy outfielder who can steal bases and also score a few runs as a function of hitting leadoff, but you quickly forget about stolen bases after you have picked up Michael Bourn.  While drafting purely for speed probably will not serve you all that well in the long term, the approach has some merit.  Consider the MLB leaders in stolen bases from 2011.

  1. Michael Bourn (61) – .294/.349/.386/.734
  2. Coco Crisp (49) – .264/.314/.379/.693
  3. Brett Gardner (49) – .259/.345/.369/.713
  4. Ichiro Suzuki (40) – .272/.310/.335/.713
  5. Cameron Maybin (40) – .264/.323/.393/.716
  6. Matt Kemp (40) – .324/.399/.586/.986
  7. Emilio Bonifacio (40) – .296/.360/.393/.753
  8. Drew Stubbs (40) – .243/.321/364/.686
  9. Jose Reyes (39) – .337/.384/.493/.877
  10. Jacoby Ellsbury (39) – .321/.376/.552/.928

That last includes many of the highest ranked fantasy players who do not play a corner infield spot.  Owners could do worse than to grab a few of these guys.  What if you lose out on most of them and still want to contend for some valuable points in the stolen bases category?  Keep an eye on the following players who may not make the leader board but may still help you anyway.

  1. Rajai Davis – Davis won’t impress anybody with his hitting numbers, but he did pull off 34 steals in just 95 games.  For owners in large leagues, he might be worth a look for a backup outfielder position.
  2. Will Venable – Venable managed 26 steals with just 370 at-bats, and he was only caught 3 times.  Although his 2011 slash line of .246/.310/.395/.704 was just slightly below his career average, Venable can provide some help as a backup outfielder.
  3. Jason Bourgeois – JB toiled in the relative obscurity provided by the media blackout that is the Houston Astros, but he should not be omitted from consideration.  He compiled 31 steals as a part-time player, and even though he has moved on to the Royals, he still doesn’t need a lot of playing time to accumulate steals.
  4. Erick Aybar – Aybar’s ability to steal bases (30 in 2011) may be put on display even more in 2012.  If the Angels keep him in the #1 or #2 slots, he could be a true table setter for the heart of a much improved lineup.  With players like Bobby Abreu changing roles to make way for the team’s new offensive focal point, Albert Pujols, opposing pitchers may find it more difficult this season to stop the running game.
  5. Alcides Escobar – Like Aybar, Escobar could benefit from being a table setter this season as well.  If he gets a lot of his at-bats in the 9th spot, then he may have a full-time green light to unsettle the man on the bump.  With Alex Gordon, Billy Butler, and Eric Hosmer starting to all come of age, Escobar stands to gain some stolen base and subsequently more scoring opportunities.

If you plan to take the “fire and forget” approach to setting your lineup and ignoring it for weeks on end, then the 5 players just mentioned probably aren’t for you.  However, if you incessantly check for updates on injuries, pitching matchups, projected starting lineups, and other tidbits that may provide an advantage, then one or more of these guys may be just right for you.

For owners in leagues with 12 or more teams, you may have to draft one of these players, and it may pay to know the difference between .250 hitters.  If you truly believe that “speed does not slump”, then keep these names in mind.

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An increasing trend in baseball: 40 steals, 100 strikeouts

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An increasing trend in baseball: 40 steals, 100 strikeouts

Posted on 21 March 2012 by Graham Womack

For a speedy center fielder, Cameron Maybin must have been swinging for the fences in 2011. Besides stealing 40 bases last year, more than he’d swiped in his four previous seasons combined, the Padres outfielder struck out 125 times, also a career-high. It wasn’t the greatest of feats for Maybin, a long-heralded prospect and a centerpiece of the Tigers-Marlins Miguel Cabrera trade in December 2007 who’s been known more since then as something of a baseball vagabond.

Thing is, Maybin’s far from alone in the amount that he struck out and stole bases last year.

Ninety players in baseball history have recorded at least 40 steals and 100 strikeouts in a season, all but two having done so since 1960. Numbers have spiked in recent years, with 30 men accomplishing the feat since 2000 including five each of the past two seasons, a record.

A full list of the men with at least 40 steals and 100 strikeouts in 2010 and 2011 is as follows, courtesy of the Play Index from Baseball-Reference.com:

Rk Player HR SB SO Yr Tm PA AB R H 2B 3B RBI BB CS BA OBP SLG OPS
1 Matt Kemp 39 40 159 2011 LAD 689 602 115 195 33 4 126 74 11 .324 .399 .586 .986
2 Drew Stubbs 15 40 205 2011 CIN 681 604 92 147 22 3 44 63 10 .243 .321 .364 .686
3 Cameron Maybin 9 40 125 2011 SDP 568 516 82 136 24 8 40 44 8 .264 .323 .393 .716
4 Emilio Bonifacio 5 40 129 2011 FLA 641 565 78 167 26 7 36 59 11 .296 .360 .393 .753
5 Michael Bourn 2 61 140 2011 TOT 722 656 94 193 34 10 50 53 14 .294 .349 .386 .734
6 Carl Crawford 19 47 104 2010 TBR 663 600 110 184 30 13 90 46 10 .307 .356 .495 .851
7 B.J. Upton 18 42 164 2010 TBR 610 536 89 127 38 4 62 67 9 .237 .322 .424 .745
8 Brett Gardner 5 47 101 2010 NYY 569 477 97 132 20 7 47 79 9 .277 .383 .379 .762
9 Michael Bourn 2 52 109 2010 HOU 605 535 84 142 25 6 38 59 12 .265 .341 .346 .686
10 Chone Figgins 1 42 114 2010 SEA 702 602 62 156 21 2 35 74 15 .259 .340 .306 .646


What’s behind the surge?

I put the word out on Twitter on Tuesday and got a variety of responses. My friend @dianagram reminded me that, in general, strikeouts are up in baseball; teams whiffed 1,150 times apiece on average in 2011, in contrast to the MLB average of 801 strikeouts in 1960. Heck, it was 496 per team in 1930. There’s talk of the strikeout being less destructive, which sounds backwards to me. I miss the days of Joe DiMaggio and Stan Musial striking out roughly five percent of their at-bats. Tony Gwynn did this in recent years, but he was a throwback.

Other followers in my Twitter feed pointed to an increased use of specialized relievers with high strikeout totals, less emphasis on contact hitting, and more emphasis on power. Josh Wilker, author of Cardboard Gods, replied to me, “Fewer slap-hitting lead-off types nowadays? GMs avoid the ol’ Omar Moreno style of contact ‘hitting,’ maybe.” There were other ideas as well, with my friend @figurefilbert suggesting that expansion has diluted talent levels, and @MikeGianella countering that the US population has nearly doubled since 1960. It’s part of a broader question about if baseball’s gotten better or worse over the years, a question I couldn’t answer in one post.

Whatever the case, the trend of high strikeout and stolen base totals doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. This comes even with Bill James and other baseball researchers showing in recent years that the caught stealing rate can be no more than 15 percent before base stealing efforts become counterproductive. Old habits die hard, I guess. That being, I would doubt that teams are all that concerned. After all, the Padres just signed the soon-to-be 25-year-old Maybin to a five-year, $25 million extension two weeks ago.

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